SOURCE: Word of Mouth Marketing Association

Word of Mouth Marketing Association

September 19, 2011 09:00 ET

WOMMA Releases Perspective on Privacy - Seeks Commentary From Marketing Industry

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2011) - The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) today released WOMMA's Perspective on Privacy, a draft of preliminary recommendations relating to the business practices of brands and their partners, designed to incorporate privacy protections into a company's culture. WOMMA seeks comments on the recommendations from its member companies and the word of mouth and social media marketing industry. Comments will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2011.

Privacy is a key concern of regulators, legislators, policy makers, trade associations, and consumer groups, and it impacts a company's core business practices as well as its marketing efforts. To assist its members and the industry, WOMMA seeks to commence a dialogue as to what type of self-regulatory guidelines are appropriate and necessary. WOMMA's recommendations are drafted as aspirational core principles, and are not mandated or required guidelines for the industry.

"In the relationship between the advertiser and customer, sensitive information can be transmitted, whether financial or personal," said Anthony DiResta, Partner at Winston & Strawn and WOMMA General Counsel. "It is the sensitivity of that information that creates concerns about privacy, and WOMMA believes that transparency and choice are at the heart of establishing and sustaining the meaningful connection between companies and their customers."

"Privacy is becoming an increasingly important topic for both brands and consumers," said Paul M. Rand, President/CEO of Zocalo Group and WOMMA Immediate Past President. "The principles set forth in WOMMA's Perspective are meant to educate our members and the industry as a whole on key privacy issues, and we look forward to continuing the discussion."

Excerpts from WOMMA's Perspective on Privacy

  • Brands should be open and honest about Personally Identifiable Information ("PII") that they are collecting, using and sharing from consumers.
  • Brands should use PII collected from or about consumers for the purposes that they have clearly communicated.
  • Brands should collect PII that is relevant and necessary to accomplish the specified purposes.
  • Brands should not retain PII for longer than necessary to fulfill the specified purposes or to otherwise meet legal requirements.
  • Brands should employ relevant and reasonable measures to protect PII.
  • Brands should be accountable for complying with these principles, by providing consumers with a readily accessible means to express concerns or complaints.


WOMMA,, is the leading trade association in the marketing and advertising industries that focuses on word of mouth, consumer-generated and social media platforms -- or marketing techniques that include buzz, viral, community, and influencer marketing, as well as brand blogging. The organization is committed to developing and maintaining appropriate ethical standards for marketers and advertisers engaging in such marketing practices, identifying meaningful measurement standards for such marketing practices, and defining "best practices" for the industry.

Founded in 2004, WOMMA members include marketers and brands that use word-of-mouth marketing to reinforce their core customers and to reach out to new consumers, agencies that deliver word-of-mouth services and technologies, researchers that track the word-of-mouth experience and offline and online practitioners.

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